The Cubs have shown the ability to bounce back after dropping the first two games of a series this season.
Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee dropped five in a row before Monday’s 18-1 blowout victory over the Cubs and followed that performance up with a 4-3 win last night. “We’ve had a real good approach in this series,” third baseman Casey McGehee said. Today’s game will be the final of a six-game road trip that saw the club suffer a sweep in Houston. The Brewers are 26-30 on the road (-20) and have posted a 4-9-4 mark in series play away from Miller Park. Milwaukee is 2-1 early in August and a dominating 35-22 during this calendar month the last three seasons (+930). A win today would give the Brewers four consecutive victories over the Cubs for the first time since 2006. They may be hard-pressed to accomplish that feat, with a 14-25 daytime record (-1,290).
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The three-game series is up for grabs, as both teams look to dig themselves out of a large hole in the NL Central race.
Houston Astros at Chicago Cubs
Houston is set to play its final game of a six-game road trip against the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, with the team posting a 12-5 combined mark against those two opponents this season. The Astros are 14-11 versus NL clubs since June 7, winning four of seven series over that span. Unlike today’s opponent, Houston has had success against the division, tallying a 21-17 record (+1,060). The club is 13-18 in day games this season (+10) and 60-63 over the last three years, with the team averaging 3.5 runs and combining for a dismal .229 average under the sun. Houston has thrived in playing during the middle of the week, tallying an 11-3 mark when playing on Wednesday (+1,020).
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Two of the National League’s worst teams try to gain some type of momentum during the final week before the All-Star break.
Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks
Chicago heads West for the second time in the last 14 days to begin a three-game series at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs can only hope to forget Sunday’s 14-3 blowout defeat at the hands of division-rival Cincinnati. “They hit seven home runs,” manager Lou Piniella said. “You would think we could get a few balls up in the air and let them ride out of here.” Chicago will look to win its first series opener since May 25, as they’ve lost 11 series openers in a row. The Cubs are desperate for a season turnaround having lost 21 of their last 32 games, but may have success in doing so against tonight’s opponent. Chicago stands at 7-2 against National League West competition, including a 3-1 mark against the Diamonbacks. The Cubs are 28-45 against all other foes.
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The South Siders are the hottest team in baseball and look to finish off a 15-game interleague stretch in style.
Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox
Manager Lou Piniella’s team picked up a 3-2 road victory in 13 innings over the Seattle Mariners, in one of those games that may jumpstart the season. “I’m hoping we’re going to put together a run,” outfielder Marlon Byrd said after the game. The Cubs are now 7-8 during interleague play this year (-110) and are set to play the 13th game of a 15-game stretch against the American League this afternoon. The pitching staff has tallied a 3.69 ERA this month, fifth-best in the National League, but the offense has failed to deliver. Chicago has scored three or fewer runs in 12 games and two or fewer in eight contests this month.
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The Cubs look to avoid being swept by their cross-town rivals on national television.
Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
The Chicago White Sox have won four straight games and five of their last six as they continue a nine-game, 10-day road trip. It’s only helped to have starting pitchers Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd and Mark Buehrle scheduled to throw in this series, as the three have combined to go 34-15 with a 3.25 ERA in interleague play. “We’re getting the good pitching and timely hitting,” White Sox outfielder Juan Pierre said following Saturday’s 2-1 victory. The lineup is filled with hitters that have been Cubs’ killers in the past, including OF Mark Kotsay batting .405 in his last 10 games against the club and OF Alex Rios being a red-hot 11-for-16 with six RBI in his last four. The team continues its winning ways against the National League, currently having a 4-1 record this year (+340), after going 12-6 in 2009.
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The Windy City is still celebrating a Stanley Cup victory, but the focus shifts to Wrigley Field and the return of interleague play.
Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
The Chicago White Sox broke through and won back-to-back games against the Tigers, after going 4-20 this season in games following a victory. The lineup has also homered in 13 of its last 14 games and rank third in the American League with 70. The buzz for this series is tempered compared to previous season, mainly due to the poor performance of both teams and the city celebrating a Stanley Cup victory. Manager Ozzie Guillen summed it up in a direct way by saying, “Very bad teams and the Blackhawks.” The White Sox are 2-1 in interleague play thus far in 2010 (+100) and have gone 26-13 over the last three years (+1,320)
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The Cubs send a former ace to the mound in trying to capture Game Two of its current series, after allowing the Brewers to walk-off with the win last night.
Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers
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I ended up watching most of the game between the Rays and the Blue Jays tonight. That might seem a bit obscure to some, but living in Canada I can watch pretty much every Jays game, and pretty much nothing from any other team. That was pretty fun in 1992 and 1993, but it has been kind of annoying for the last decade or so. Nonetheless, it was very interesting to watch the Rays in action, and they played a heck of a game in what was, for seven innings at least, a heck of a pitcher’s duel. The Rays ended up winning 3-0, but as I was watching it two things firmly established themselves in my mind:
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